Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa will resign effective Sept. 16, the company said Monday after he had been criticized for receiving inappropriate compensation by changing the terms of his performance bonus.
Pressure for Saikawa's resignation started to build last week after the Nissan board learned of the results of a yearlong investigation into former chairman Carlos Ghosn and other executives who may have been paid unearned compensation as a result of a company error.
Saikawa served as a deputy under Ghosn but has been roundly criticized for his performance since Ghosn's departure.
"Hiroto Saikawa had indicated recently his willingness to resign," a statement from Nissan said. "After discussion, the board asked him to resign as representative executive officer and CEO of the company, effective Sept. 16, and he accepted.
"Nissan's representative executive officer and (chief operations officer), Yasuhiro Yamauchi, will become acting CEO. Nissan's nomination committee will accelerate its efforts to select a successor for the CEO position, with the goal of concluding the search by the end of October," the statement continued.
When asked Monday about the allegations of illegally receiving extra compensation similar in part to what Ghosn was accused of, Saikawa denied wrongdoing.
"I never ordered the company to break the rules,"Saikawa said.
Saikawa was named president and chief executive of Nissan under Ghosn in April 2017 and supported Ghosn's rise before criticizing his former boss after he was arrested.
Ghosn has been charged with financial misconduct after Japanese authorities alleged the former Nissan head diverted company funds to a Saudi businessman and underreported compensation.